Top 10 Professional Sports Team Names that Have a Meaningful Origin

anthonybecerra831

The Top Ten

1 Boston Celtics Boston Celtics The Boston Celtics are an American professional basketball team based in Boston, Massachusetts. They are specifically known for honing infamous players such as Larry Bird, Bill Russell, Paul Pierce, and more. They are also known for having the most championships in NBA History, with 17 total.

Owner Walter Brown named the Boston NBA team because he said that the city was full of Irishman. - anthonybecerra831

I met some Celtics fans from Boston last summer at a Minnesota Twins game, they were there to cheer on their beloved Red Sox. I can honestly say they were the best opponents fans I have ever met. Go Celtics! - Ned964

2 San Francisco 49ers San Francisco 49ers The San Francisco 49ers are a professional American football team located in the San Francisco Bay Area.

Named the 49ers after the 1849 Gold Rush in San Francisco and various areas in California. - anthonybecerra831

3 Toronto Maple Leafs Toronto Maple Leafs The Toronto Maple Leafs are a Canadian professional ice hockey team based in Toronto, Ontario, that competes in the National Hockey League.

The Maple Leafs say that the name was chosen in honour of the Maple Leaf Regiment from World War I. - anthonybecerra831

Interesting, I never had heard that. I know they are one of the "Original 6" in the NHL and have a great tradition up there. - Ned964

Yes folks, it is not a grammatical mistake. Conn Smythe, who formed the Leafs, named them after the regiment. The colours are from his alma mater, the University of Toronto, where he coached and played hockey. - PetSounds

4 Pittsburgh Steelers Pittsburgh Steelers The Pittsburgh Steelers are a professional American football team based in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, that competes in the National Football League.

Owner Art Rooney Sr. changed the team name to Steelers in 1940 to more properly represent the city's dominant steel industry. - anthonybecerra831

5 Los Angeles Lakers Los Angeles Lakers The Los Angeles Lakers are an American professional basketball team based in Los Angeles, California, that competes in the National Basketball Association.

Before coming to LA the Lakers came from Minneapolis which was a city in MN and is known for having over 10,000 lakes. - anthonybecerra831

6 Green Bay Packers Green Bay Packers The Green Bay Packers are a professional American football team based in Green Bay, Wisconsin. The Packers compete in the National Football League as a member club of the league's National Football Conference North division.

The team was actually named after a packaging company known as the Indian Packing Compant in Wisconsin. - anthonybecerra831

7 Los Angeles Dodgers Los Angeles Dodgers The Los Angeles Dodgers are an American professional baseball team based in Los Angeles, California. The Dodgers compete in Major League Baseball as a member club of the National League West division.

The team moved from Brooklyn, and in the 1910s, the team was named after the borough’s pedestrians who dodged the streetcars in the city. Also were known as the Trolley Dodgers for a short while. - anthonybecerra831

8 Chicago Bears Chicago Bears The Chicago Bears are a professional American football team in Chicago, Illinois. The Bears compete in the National Football League as a member club of the league's National Football Conference North division.

Owner George Halas named the team the Bears because Chicago's baseball team was the Cubs. Implying that football players are bigger and stronger than baseball players. - anthonybecerra831

9 Houston Rockets Houston Rockets

Rockets was picked because it reflected the outstanding growth of space-age industries in San Diego. The team relocated to Houston in 1971, the nickname still fits because of the NASA space program’s operation center there. - anthonybecerra831

10 Utah Jazz Utah Jazz

Salt Lake City is known as the Jazz capital of the World so the name is only fitting. - anthonybecerra831

The Contenders

11 Philadelphia Eagles Philadelphia Eagles The Philadelphia Eagles are a professional football franchise based in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The Eagles compete in the National Football League as a member club of the league's National Football Conference East division.

Owner Bert Bell liked the Recovery Act, which had an eagle as its symbol, and hoped it would help his team have a new deal. - anthonybecerra831

12 Cleveland Browns Cleveland Browns The Cleveland Browns are a professional American football team based in Cleveland, Ohio. The Browns compete in the National Football League as a member team of the American Football Conference North division.

There's some debate about whether Cleveland's professional football franchise was named after its first coach and general manager, Paul Brown, or after boxer Joe Louis, who was nicknamed the "Brown Bomber." - anthonybecerra831

13 Kansas City Chiefs Kansas City Chiefs The Kansas City Chiefs are a professional American football team based in Kansas City, Missouri. The Chiefs compete in the National Football League as a member club of the league's American Football Conference West division.

Owner Lamar Hunt said the name was locally important because Native Americans had once lived in the area. Hunt may have also been swayed by Kansas City mayor H. Roe Bartle, whose nickname was The Chief. - anthonybecerra831

14 New Orleans Saints New Orleans Saints The New Orleans Saints are a professional American football team based in New Orleans, Louisiana. The Saints currently compete in the National Football League as a member club of the league's National Football Conference South division.

The nickname, chosen by team owner John Mecom, was a nod to the city's jazz heritage and taken from the popular song, "When the Saints Go Marching In." - anthonybecerra831

15 Tampa Bay Buccaneers Tampa Bay Buccaneers

The nickname, which was a popular choice among fans in a name-the-team contest, was a nod to the pirates who raided Florida's coasts during the 17th century. - anthonybecerra831

16 Charlotte Hornets Charlotte Hornets

Owner Shinn noted that the nickname had some historical significance; during the Revolutionary War, a British commander reportedly referred to the area around Charlotte as a "hornet’s nest of rebellion. - anthonybecerra831

17 Denver Nuggets Denver Nuggets

Nuggets, an allusion to the city's mining tradition and the Colorado Gold Rush during the late 1850s and early 1860s - anthonybecerra831

18 Indiana Pacers Indiana Pacers

The nickname is a reference to Indiana's rich harness and auto racing history. - anthonybecerra831

19 Los Angeles Clippers Los Angeles Clippers The Los Angeles Clippers, often abbreviated as the LA Clippers, are an American professional basketball team based in Los Angeles.

Clippers, a popular type of ship during the 19th century. San Diego had been home to the Conquistadors/Sails of the ABA during the 1970s - anthonybecerra831

20 New Orleans Pelicans New Orleans Pelicans

Pelicans�"after the brown pelican, Louisiana's state bird. - anthonybecerra831

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